What has also been disturbing with this whole compensation debate is how ludicrous it is. Huge compensation packages are perceived as an entitlement, not something actually earned. Furthermore, we do seem to evaluate if a compensation package even makes any rationale economic sense.
In terms of ludicrous comments, a female commentator on CNBC stated that if a shareholder did not like the compensation packages being granted by the board, that the sharholder should sell their shares! Technically, the managers work for the shareholders who should be able to define what management should earn. So the shareholder should have a right to fire the executive.
Other commentators have talked about how the board of directors should be the only body making compensation decisions which again leaves the shareholders out in the cold. Not to mention that the conflict of interest that arises when the members of the compensation committee are appointed to "gift" management favorable treatment. Dilbert had a wonderful cartoon on this.
Ultimately this boils down to a question of ethics. Neither the recipient nor granter of the compensation packages seem to believe that they have any fiduciary duty to the shareholders and society at large.